During the past week, at least 10 boats have set sail from a variety of ports in Mexico, Central America and Ecuador bound for French Polynesian landfalls — and according to initial reports, conditions could hardly be more ideal.
According to three-time Puddle Jumper Bob Bechler of the Seattle-based Gulfstar 44 Sisiutl, "Boats out there on the passage are finding trade winds in the teens off the aft quarter and seas under a meter high — great conditions!"
As far as we can tell, the Rhode Island-based Valiant 40 Brick House is currently the farthest out, roughly 1,200 miles from the Marquesas, having left from Panama in mid-February, with a pit stop in the Galapagos Islands. As in years past, the bulk of the fleet is leaving from Mexican ports. Within that group, the Mapleleaf 50 Love Song, with the Simis family aboard, was the first away and is currently leading the fleet by roughly 200 miles. Look for a complete report on this year’s fleet in the April edition of Latitude 38.
The rumors have been floating around for a while. Now it’s official: the lease for Anderson’s Boatyard in Sausalito was not renewed, and this fall, Keefe-Kaplan Maritime, Inc. (KKMI) will take over the facilities there. This will be an additional ‘branch’ for KKMI, whose main yard in Richmond was founded by Paul Kaplan and Ken Keefe in the mid-’90s.
While the exchange has been portrayed in some local media as a rivalry, Kaplan says that’s far from the case. “In the past I’ve had many boats serviced by Anderson’s and they’ve always done a wonderful job. We hope to continue to serve the maritime community in the same friendly and efficient manner after the move.”
Obviously, there are a lot of ‘i’s to dot and ‘t’s to cross before fall. Look for the most up-to-date details in the April issue of Latitude 38.
If you were one of the over 200 people who spent Wednesday evening with us over at the Golden Gate YC, then you know there was something for everyone at the Latitude 38 Spring Crew List Party. Everywhere you looked, people wearing one or both name tags that said "looking to crew," or "looking for crew," were making connections, exchanging information and finding complementary interests.
Although we didn’t take an exact count, there was a good balance between guys and gals that had to have beeen pretty close to half-and-half. Ditto for the age distribution — there were probably at least 50 people there that were under the age of 30.
It also seemed that the attendees’ objectives were as diverse as their ages. There were people looking to race, daysail, cruise, do deliveries, and all of the above. Their experience levels ranged from "enthusiastic novice" to everything from committed daysailors, seasoned Baja Ha-Ha veterans, cruisers, and hardcore racers.
We noticed proactive prospective skippers and crew using a variety of different tools to "market" themselves. There were skippers that brought flyers with info like a boat photo, skipper’s bio and schedule for the year. There were more than few ‘boat cards’ and sailing résumés traded.
If you missed the party, you really missed a great chance to network with committed prospective crew and skippers. But all is not lost! Take advantage of our online crew list, where you’ll find a lot of the folks who didn’t make the party either!
Within 48 hours of announcing the Delta Doo Dah in March 4’s ‘Lectronic, all 30 available spots in this first annual fun rally to the Delta were spoken for. Though we knew some folks would be disappointed, we intentionally limited the number of entries so we could work out the bugs this year with the hope of expanding next year.
But if you didn’t make it as an official Doo Dah entry, don’t let that stop you from enjoying all the Delta has to offer. You can even use the Doo Dah website as a reference for planning your own trip to the Delta. Over the next few months, we’ll be adding some of our more useful Delta articles for download, plus links to companies and services, and much more. We’re even dipping our toe into the social networking scene by joining Twitter — follow our ‘tweets’ on announcements, news and even what’s happening during the Doo Dah in real time!